Friday, December 27, 2019

who thinks?

"5% of the people think, 10% of the people think they think, and the other 85% would rather die than think." ~ Thomas A. Edison

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Rachel Efras bas Ofrah

Rachel Efras bas Ofrah was just discovered sitting in jail since Sunday. She submitted her request for a religious exemption two years ago, yet never received it. This Sunday she was summoned to the draft office. She innocently went, and was arrested. She was given fourteen days jail time. Evidently since her parents are ba’alei teshuva, the military feels that she is easier to pressure into enlisting. This highlights the extreme danger [and therefore the prohibition] for a girl to enter the draft office.

the Sentry

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Real Reasons Autism Rates Are Up in the U.S. - Scientific American

The prevalence of autism is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. In 1966, researchers estimated that about 1 in 2,500 children had autism. How do explain this drastic change in the numbers? An article in Scientific American explores the question. Read here.

Note that this article does not mention vaccines which is a little strange given that many have argued that they do and many studies have been conducted to investigate whether there is any connection. Even if the consensus is that there is no connection, you'd think the article would mention that the question has been raised. Are free thought and speech allowed on this topic? Are the authors afraid of ridicule, slander, and abuse? Reminds one of the topic of Zionism where free thought and speech are not permitted in the media, political forums, and in many homes.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Overview on vaccine safety

More on the topic. My goal is not to argue a position. It is to explore the arguments. Am I the only person on the planet doing this? Put it this way, I only know people who are locked into a position and none of those people really know very much about the topic.

I don't know much either. It's really complex. You have to be a full blown medical researcher to grasp it. Who has got the time or ability? Unfortunately, we have to trust others.

But who can you trust? Do you trust corporations? Any corporation? If you put complete trust in corporations, you are a fool. I have worked in corporations. Scary.

Do you put complete trust in the government? If you do, you are a fool. I have worked in government. Scary.

But you can trust more in counterbalancing forces, in the private sector keeping an eye on government and government keeping an eye on the private sector, on different parts of government keeping an eye on other parts. Balance of powers. So even if people are selfish, even if they are egotistical, even if they are greedy, the selfishness and egotism and greed can be redirected for the public good. So for example, in a court of law you have two greedy attorneys but because they engage in an adversarial process, they keep a check on one another and hopefully some kind of truth emerges.

Problem is that over the last 30 years, the government and corporate world and the press have morphed into one to a very large extent. I remember when there were more clear divisions in society. Women wore dresses and men pants. Today you can barely differentiate not only by dress but by voice and mentality and choice of partner. There are today many same-sex parents. Who is the mother? who is the father? It's insane.

I remember when TV actors did only television and movie actors only film. Today, there's all kinds of cross over. I remember when you had actors and actresses. Today, they are all actors.

Today it's very common for the heads of agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission to retire and get lucrative jobs for Goldman Sachs. That's a big problem. It's retroactive bribery. The two worlds need to be separate.

Same thing happens in the pharmaceutical industry. And the result is you can't really trust either side because they have become one.

I remember when there were hundreds of newspapers. Today, most journalism is controlled by a few major corporations.

Still you have to live. You always have attorneys keeping a balance with their goal of becoming rich. But that doesn't work so well in the vaccine business because you cannot sue a corporation for a bad vaccine. You have to go to vaccine court where the bill is paid by the tax payer. That's a big problem and makes this whole business very suspicious.

Anyway, as I said we have to live and do the best we can with the information we have. We daven to Hashem to guide us. There's a risk to taking vaccines and there's a risk to not taking them. So one should examine all sides of the argument and make choices. That's life.

The following overview discusses some of the most controversial claims about vaccines such as the presence of preservatives, aluminum salts, and formaldehyde and claims they are not problematic. While reading it, I get mixed feelings. One is, well they are providing some kind of answer to critics; although it's easy to oversimplify when talking to the public. The other is, wow this is really complicated. They are playing with fire here. They better know what the heck they are doing. And even if the experts have it all figured out, in the vaccine factories, regular people are working, dummies like us. Are they doing everything right? The American Academy of Pediatrics claims everything is just fine. Do you put complete trust in them? If you do, you are a fool. But if you decide to go with their recommendation, I understand. That's different from complete trust. Here are their words:


Vaccine Ingredients: Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What ingredients are in vaccines?

All vaccines contain antigens. Antigens make vaccines work. They prompt the body to create the immune response needed to protect against infection. Antigens come in several forms. The form used in a vaccine is chosen because studies show it is the best way to protect against a particular infection.



Antigen forms include:

Weakened live viruses. They are too weak to cause disease but can still prompt an immune response. Measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, chickenpox, and one type of influenza vaccine contain weakened live viruses.



Inactivated (or killed) viruses. These viruses cannot cause even a mild form of the disease, but the body still recognizes the virus and creates an immune response to protect itself. The polio, hepatitis A, influenza and rabies vaccines contain inactivated viruses.



Partial viruses. These are made up of the specific part of the dead virus that will prompt a protective immune response. Some vaccines are made this way including the hepatitis B and HPV vaccine.



Partial bacteria. are made up of the specific part of the dead bacteria that will prompt a protective immune response. Some vaccines are made this way including the Hib, pneumococcal, meningococcal, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines. 



Vaccines also contain other ingredients, which help make them safer and more effective. They include:



Preservatives. They keep the vials from getting contaminated with germs.



Adjuvants. They help the body create a better immune response. These are aluminum salts.



Additives. They help the vaccine stay effective while being stored. 

Additives include gelatin, albumin, sucrose, lactose, MSG and glycine.

Residuals of the vaccine production process. Some ingredients are needed to make the vaccine. Although these ingredients are removed, tiny (residual) amounts are left in the final product. Depending on how the vaccine is made, it may include tiny amounts of antibiotics (neomycin), egg protein or yeast protein.



Q. Are these other ingredients in vaccines safe?

A. Yes.

Q. Why are these other ingredients in vaccines? 

A. Each ingredient has a specific function in a vaccine. These ingredients have been studied and are safe for humans in the amount used in vaccines. This amount is much less than children encounter in their environment, food and water.



Aluminum salts. Aluminum salts help your body create a better immune response to vaccines. Aluminum salts are necessary to make some of the vaccines we use more effective. Without an adjuvant like aluminum, people could need more doses of shots to be protected. Everyone is exposed to aluminum because there is much aluminum in the earth’s crust. It’s present in our food, air and water, including breast milk and formula. The amount of aluminum in vaccines is similar to that found in 33 ounces of infant formula. Aluminum has been used and studied in vaccines for 75 years and is safe.

Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used to detoxify diphtheria and tetanus toxins or to inactivate a virus. The tiny amount which may be left in these vaccines is safe. Vaccines are not the only source of formaldehyde your baby is exposed to. Formaldehyde is also in products like paper towels, mascara and carpeting. Our bodies normally have formaldehyde in the blood stream and at levels higher than in vaccines.



Antibiotics. Antibiotics, such as neomycin, are present in some vaccines to prevent bacterial contamination when the vaccine is made. Trace amounts of antibiotics in vaccines rarely, if ever, cause allergic reactions.



Egg protein. Influenza and yellow fever vaccines are produced in eggs, so egg proteins are present in the final product and can cause allergic reaction. Measles and mumps vaccines are made in chick embryo cells in culture, not in eggs. The much smaller amount of remaining egg proteins found in the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine does not usually cause a reaction in egg allergic children.

Gelatin. Some vaccines contain gelatin to protect them against freeze-drying or heat. People with severe allergies to gelatin should avoid getting gelatin-containing vaccines.

Q. Do vaccines contain antifreeze?

A: No. Antifreeze is typically made of ethylene glycol, which is unsafe. Confusion has arisen, because polyethylene glycol (a chemical used in antifreeze and personal care products like skin creams and toothpaste) is used in vaccines and is safe. It is used to inactivate the influenza virus in some influenza vaccines. It is also used to purify other vaccines.

Q. Do vaccines contain mercury?

A: Almost all childhood vaccines do NOT contain any mercury. Methylmercury, which is found in fish and other animals (including humans) can be toxic and lead to adverse effects in humans. Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, was removed from most childhood vaccines in 2001. Thimerosal contains a different form of mercury called ethylmercury, which is processed by the body very differently than methylmercury, and is not associated with the same adverse effects. It is still present in some influenza vaccines. Thimerosal is still used in the manufacture of some vaccines to prevent contamination. The thimerosal is removed at the end of the manufacturing process. In some cases, a tiny amount of thimerosal remains. The remaining amount is so small, that it is not possible for it to have any effect. Valid scientific studies have shown there is no link between thimerosal and autism. In fact, autism rates have actually increased since thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the CDC, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) agree that science does not support a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. For the IOM report, go to http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4705/4717.aspx.

Q. Do vaccines contain fetal tissue?

A. No. A few vaccines involve growing the viruses in human cell culture. Two cell lines provide the cultures needed for producing vaccines. These lines were developed from two fetuses in the 1960s. The fetuses were aborted for medical reasons, not for the purpose of producing vaccines. These cell lines have an indefinite life span, meaning that no new aborted fetuses are ever used. No fetal tissue is included in the vaccines, either, so children are not injected with any part of an aborted fetus.

Q. Should vaccines be “greener”?

A. The amount of each additive used in vaccines is very small. In fact, we are exposed to much higher levels of these chemicals in our everyday lives. In vaccines, these ingredients are used to make the vaccine safer and more effective. Each vaccine is tested many times to make sure it is safe and works. Taking ingredients out might affect the ability of the vaccine to protect a child. Research is always being done to make sure that ingredients in vaccines continue to be the safest and best available for children.


American Academy of Pediatrics)

Last Updated 2/28/2013



Again, don't let this be the last word on the subject. Put it in your memory banks and keep researching.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Studies reporting vaccine safety

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Vaccine-Studies-Examine-the-Evidence.aspx

I listed in three recent posts two studies that found a connection between some vaccines and neurological disorders and one interview with a man who says he was a vaccine researcher who reports that dangerous contaminants are common in vaccines and that the industry is rife with corruption.

I am posting here a listing of studies which focused along with other questions on these three in particular:


  • Too many vaccines overwhelming the immune system
  • The measles, mumps, rubella combination vaccine (MMR)
  • The preservative thimerosal, which was never present in MMR but was present in several vaccines used in the 1990s—it has since been removed from all routinely used childhood vaccines with the exception of flu.


The studies, some of them quite large-scale, report that the quantity of vaccines, the MRR vaccine, and the preservative thimerosal are not problematic.

Now, no study can tell you that a vaccine is safe for everyone. They can only tell you what is of statistical significance. It could be that certain people react poorly to a vaccine while 99% of the world does not. So when a mother tells you that her child got a shot and had convulsions that night and was never the same it doesn't mean she is illogical or brainwashed. She might be right that in that case there was an adverse reaction. The problem many people who claim to respect the scientific method is that many of them don't understand the scientific method. They confuse science with religion. This is very common in the Orthodox Jewish world, particularly the Modern Orthodox world. Religious instincts, not developed fully through Torah, are morphed with secular things like science. The result is a kind of blind worship and faith in a mythical science, a science that proper scientists don't even claim it to be.

You have seen I'm sure drawings of the atom and you may assume that's how atoms look. Actually, nobody is sure how atoms look. The draws represent our best guess of how they look. A PhD Chemist and college professor who did post-doctorate work at Princeton and a professional physicist from UCLA confirmed that for me.

Similarly, I hear all the time from Modern Orthodox people that science proved the truth of the theory of evolution and that all scientists agree about this. First of all, 98% of scientists know as little about the theory of evolution as you do. They have their specialties as physicians do. My dermatologist can't even comment on back pain. My orthopedist can't comment on hearing problems. A chemist knows about chemistry, actually he or she knows his tiny little specialty of chemistry, maybe plastics or a subset of plastics, he doesn't know about evolutionary biology. Secondly, scientific proof relies mostly on experimentation. You can't experiment on the past. Maybe you can argue pervasively about evolution (I haven't heard compelling arguments) but you can't prove anything.

Likewise, no study can tell you that vaccines are safe for everyone. So the phrase, vaccines are safe, if not meant in a general sense, is a falsehood. You can only say they appear to be safe for most people or even 99% of people.

Every time any medical procedure is done on you there are risks. If you go for hernia surgery - one of the most common and least problematic types of surgery - the surgeon will say, here are the risks. One of them is death as there is such a risk in any surgery. It's a very low risk and there's a much higher risk that the hernia will become incarcerated and cause death. That's the balance that has to be struck in all medical decisions.

Same with vaccines. There are always risks. You have to weigh them against the risk of not taking the vaccine. That's the proper way to look at it.

What's the nafka mina, the differentiating case? Well, there are families who don't react well to vaccines. We need to spend time trying to identify those people. I know a family where all the vaccinated kids had learning disabilities and all the non-vaccinated kids did not. When the debate about vaccines consists of nothing but insults and shouting - which is how most debating works in the Jewish world - we never fine tune the topic. The debate around vaccines in common circles consists almost entirely of polemics and demonizing of the other side.

So as I listed studies that show problems with vaccines (and yes those studies exist), I am listing studies that investigated the possibility of a connection between MMR and autism as well as possible problems with thimerosal. These studies conclude that MMR and thimerosal have no statistically meaningful connection to autism (which doesn't mean they don't cause it in some cases.)

Those who are intellectually honest will look at both sides of the argument. Those who are in love with their own voices will not.


Studies Looking at the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine


​​Study​Summary​Author Conclusion
Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children with Older Siblings with and Without Autism

Jain A, et al. JAMA. 2015; 313(5): 1534-40.
​This study identified a cohort of children with older siblings. Some siblings had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and some children in the cohort had received an ASD diagnosis. Authors calculated the relative risk (RR) of a child receiving an ASD diagnosis at ages 2 years, 3 years or 4 years based on whether the child had received 0 or 1 dose of MMR vaccine, AND whether the child had a sibling with ASD or a sibling without ASD. They also calculated the RR of a child receiving an ASD diagnosis at age 5 years based on whether they received 0, 1 or 2 doses of MMR vaccine and whether they had a sibling with ASD or a sibling without ASD.​Authors found no association between MMR vaccination and increased ASD risk and no evidence that receipt of 1 or 2 doses of MMR vaccine was association with a raised risk of ASD for children with had an older sibling with ASD. 
No Evidence for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine-Associated Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Autism in a 14-year Prospective Study

Peltola H, et al., Lancet. 1998; 351:1327-8 
​Prospective study of 3 million adverse events in temporal relation to MMR vaccine. A form was filled and posted to the data collectors, followed by another form with further information 2-3 weeks later. Researchers traced subjects who developed gastrointestinal symptoms or signs lasting 24 hours or more at any time after MMR vaccination (apart from within the first hour). Researchers also checked hospital and health center records or interviewed the local public-health nurses.Over a decade’s effort to detect all severe adverse events associated with MMR vaccine could find no data supporting the hypothesis that it would cause pervasive developmental disorder or inflammatory bowel disease.
Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological Evidence for a Causal Association

Taylor B, et al., Lancet. 1999; 353(9169): 2026-9 
​Researchers looked for a change in trend in incidence or age at diagnosis associated with the introduction of MMR vaccination to the United Kingdom in 1988. The study identified 498 cases of autism (261 of core autism, 166 of atypical autism, and 71 of Asperger syndrome) in children born in the UK since 1979. There was a steady increase in cases by year of birth with no sudden “step-up” or change in the trend line after the introduction of MMR vaccination. There was no difference in age at diagnosis between the cases vaccinated before or after 18 months of age and those never vaccinated. There was no temporal association between onset of autism within 1 or 2 years after vaccination with MMR. Developmental regression was not clustered in the months after vaccination.​Data do not support a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism. If such an association occurs, it is so rare that it could not be identified in this large regional sample. 
Mumps, Measles, and Rubella Vaccine and the Incidence of Autism Recorded by General Practitioners: A Time Trend Analysis

Kaye JA, et al., British Medical Journal. 2001; 322:460-63 
​Study compared prevalence of MMR vaccination among children in the United Kingdom to rising prevalence of autism diagnoses for children.​The data provide evidence that no correlation exists between the prevalence of MMR vaccination and the rapid increase in the risk of autism over time.​
MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association

Farrington CP, et al., Vaccine. 2001; Jun 14; 19(27): 3632-5
​Data from an earlier MMR vaccine study (Taylor et al, 2000) were reanalyzed to test a second hypothesis.​Results provide further evidence against a causal association between MMR vaccination and autism.
Time Trends in Autism and in MMR Immunization Coverage in California

Dales L et al., Journal of the American Medical Association. 2001; 285(9): 1183-5 
​Scientists looked for correlation between increases in the rate of autism diagnoses and increases in the rate of MMR vaccination in children born between 1980 and 1994.​These data do not suggest an association between MMR immunization among young children and an increase in autism occurrence.
Measles-Mumps-Rubella and Other Measles-Containing Vaccines Do Not Increase the Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case-Control Study from the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project

Davis RL, et al., Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2001;155(3): 354-9 
​A case control study of 155 persons with inflammatory bowel disease with up to five controls each. Neither past vaccination nor age at vaccination with other MCV was associated with increased risk for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or IBD. Risk for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or IBD was not elevated in the time immediately following vaccination with either vaccine.​Vaccination with MMR or other MCV, or the timing of vaccination early in life, did not increase the risk for IBD. 
No Evidence for a New Variant of Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Induced Autism

Fombonne E, et al., Pediatrics. 2001; 108(4): e58
​Study compared 96 children with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) born between 1992 and 1995 and who had received the MMR vaccine, to PDD patients who did not receive MMR.​No evidence was found to support a distinct syndrome of MMR-induced autism or of “autistic enterocolitis.” These results add to the large-scale epidemiologic studies that all failed to support an association between MMR and autism at population level. These findings do not argue for changes in current immunization programs and recommendations.
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study

Taylor B, et al. British Medical Journal. 2002; 324(7334): 393-6 
​Population study of 278 children with core autism and 195 with atypical autism, born between 1979 and 1998. The proportion of children with developmental regression (25% overall) or bowel symptoms (17%) did not change significantly during the 20 years from 1979, a period which included the introduction of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination in October 1988.​Data provide no support for an MMR associated “new variant” form of autism with developmental regression and bowel problems, and further evidence against involvement of MMR vaccine in the initiation of autism.
Relation of Childhood Gastrointestinal Disorders to Autism: Nested Case Control Study Using Data from the UK General Practice Research Database
Black C, et al., British Medical Journal. 2002; 325: 419-21
​Nested case control study of 96 children diagnosed with autism and 449 controls. The estimated odds ratio for a history of gastrointestinal disorders among children with autism compared with children without autism was 1.0 (95% confidence interval 0.5 to 2.2). ​​No evidence was found that children with autism were more likely than children without autism to have had defined gastrointestinal disorders at any time before their diagnosis of autism.
Neurologic Disorders after Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination

Makela A, et al., Pediatrics. 2002; 110: 957-63
​Study of 535,544 1- to 7-year-old children who were vaccinated between November 1982 and June 1986 in Finland.
​Data do not support an association between MMR vaccination and encephalitis, aseptic meningitis or autism.
A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism

Madsen KM, et al., New England Journal of Medicine. 2002; 347(19): 1477-82 
​Compared relative risk of ASD in children vaccinated with MMR vaccine and unvaccinated children born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998. Of the 537,303 children in the cohort, 82% had received the MMR vaccine. Researchers identified 316 children with a diagnosis of autism and 422 with a diagnosis of other ASDs. There was no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autism.​This study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism.
Prevalence of Autism and Parentally Reported Triggers in a North East London Population

Lingam R, et al., Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2003; 88(8): 666-70 
​Study of reported age of onset of ASD among 567 children in northeast London born between 1979 and 1998. The age at diagnosis of ASD was estimated to have decreased per five-year period since 1983, by 8.7% for childhood autism and by 11.0% for atypical autism. There was some evidence that MMR vaccine was more likely to be mentioned as a trigger after August 1997 than before.​The data suggest that a rise in autism prevalence was likely due to factors such as increased recognition, a greater willingness on the part of educators and families to accept the diagnostic label, and better recording systems. The proportion of parents attributing their child's autism to MMR appears to have increased since August 1997.
MMR Vaccination and Perva​sive Developmental Disorders: A Case-Control Study

Smeeth L, et al., Lancet 2004; 364(9438): 963-9​
​Matched case-control of 1,295 people born in 1973 or later who had first recorded diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder while registered with a contributing general practice between 1987 and 2001. Controls (4,469) were matched on age, sex and general practice. 1,010 cases (78.1%) had MMR vaccination recorded before diagnosis, compared with 3,671 controls (82.1%) before the age at which their matched case was diagnosed.​Data suggest that MMR vaccination is not associated with an increased risk of pervasive developmental disorders.
Age at First Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination in Children with Autism and School-Matched Control Subjects: A Population-Based Study in Metropolitan Atlanta

DeStefano F et al., Pediatrics 2004; 113(2): 259-66 
​Study compared ages at first MMR vaccination between children with autism and children who did not have autism in the total population and in selected subgroups, including children with regression in development.​Similar proportions of case and control children were vaccinated by the recommended age or shortly after (i.e., before 18 months) and before the age by which atypical development is usually recognized in children with autism (i.e., 24 months).​
No evidence for links between autism, MMR and measles virus

Chen W, et al., Psychological Medicine2004 April; 34(3): 543-53
​Study compared 2,407 persons with autism born between 1959 and 1993; to 4,640 Down syndrome subjects born between 1966 and 1993.​No increased risk of autism was found following exposures to wild measles and vaccinations with monovalent measles, and Urabe or Jeryl-Lynn variants of MMR vaccine.
No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study

Honda H, et al., Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry2005; 46(6): 572-9
​Study examined incidence of ASD to age 7 for children born between 1988 and 1996 in Yokohama, Japan. The MMR vaccination rate in Yokohama declined significantly in the birth cohorts of years 1988-92, and no MMR vaccines were administered in 1993 or thereafter. In contrast, cumulative incidence of ASD up to age 7 increased significantly in the birth cohorts of years 1988 through 1996 and most notably rose dramatically beginning with the birth cohort of 1993.​MMR vaccination is not likely to be a main cause of ASD, and cannot explain the rise over time in the incidence of ASD. Withdrawal of MMR in countries where it is still being used cannot be expected to lead to a reduction in the incidence of ASD.
Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism

Institute of Medicine, The National Academies Press: 2004
​The IOM's Committee on Immunization Safety Review was convened in the fall of 2000 to provide an independent review of increasingly prominent vaccine safety concerns. The 15 committee members with expertise in pediatrics, internal medicine, immunology, neurology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, risk perception, decision analysis, nursing, genetics, ethics and health communications analyzed over 200 relevant studies.​The committee rejected a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism as well as a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.
Relationship between MMR Vaccine and Autism

Klein KC, Diehl EB.  The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2004; 38(7-8):1297-300 
​Ten articles that specifically evaluated the possible relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism were identified. Review articles, commentaries, and evaluations of a link between gastrointestinal symptoms in autistic children and MMR immunization were excluded.Based upon the current literature, it appears that there is no relationship between MMR vaccination and the development of autism.
Is There a 'Regressive Phenotype' of Autism Spectrum Disorder Associated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine? A CPEA Study

Richler, et al., Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2006; 36(3): 299-316
​A multi-site study of 351 children with ASD and 31 typically developing children used caregiver interviews to describe the children’s early acquisition and loss of social-communication milestones. For the majority of children with ASD who had experienced a regression, pre-loss development was clearly atypical. ​No evidence that onset of autistic symptoms or of regression was related to measles, mumps and rubella vaccination.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal and Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links with Immunizations

Fombonne E, et al., Pediatrics. 2006; 118(1): e139-50
​Study of thimerosal and MMR vaccine uptake in 28,000 Canadian children born between 1987 and 1998, of whom 180 were identified with a pervasive developmental disorder.​The data rule out an association between pervasive developmental disorder and either high levels of ethyl mercury exposure comparable with those experienced in the United States in the 1990s or 1- or 2-dose MMR vaccinations.
Immunizations and Autism: A Review of the Literature

Doja A, and Roberts W, The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2006; 33(4): 341-6
​Literature review found very few studies supporting an association between vaccines and autism, with the overwhelming majority showing no causal association between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The vaccine preservative thimerosal has alternatively been hypothesized to have a possible causal role in autism.No convincing evidence was found to support an association between the vaccine preservative thimerosal and autism, nor for the use of chelation therapy in autism.​
No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

D'Souza Y, et al., Pediatrics. 2006; 118(4): 1664-75. 
​Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from 54 children with ASD and 34 developmentally normal children, and up to 4 real-time polymerase chain reaction assays and 2 nested polymerase chain reaction assays were performed. No sample from either ASD or control groups was found to contain nucleic acids from any measles virus gene. In the nested polymerase chain reaction and in-house assays, none of the samples yielded positive results. Furthermore, there was no difference in anti-measles antibody titers between the autism and control groups. ​There is no evidence of measles virus persistence in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of children with ASD.
MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan

Uchiyama T, et al., Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders2007; 37(2): 210-7
​Study of 904 patients with ASD. During the period of MMR usage, no significant difference was found in the incidence of regression between MMR-vaccinated children and non-vaccinated children. Among the proportion and incidence of regression across the three MMR-program-related periods (before, during and after MMR usage), no significant difference was found between those who had received MMR and those who had not. Moreover, the incidence of regression did not change significantly across the three periods.​The data do not support an association between MMR and autism.
Measles Vaccination and Antibody Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Baird G, et al., Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2008; 93(10): 832-7
​Case-control study of 98 vaccinated children aged 10-12 years in the UK with ASD and two control groups of similar age: 52 children with special educational needs but no ASD and 90 children in the typically developing group. No difference was found between cases and controls for measles antibody response. There was no dose-response relationship between autism symptoms and antibody concentrations.​No association between measles vaccination and ASD was shown.
Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study

Hornig et al., PLoS ONE. 2008; 3(9): e3140 
​Researchers looked for measles virus in the guts of 25 children with both autism and gastrointestinal disorders, and another 13 children with the same gastrointestinal disorders but no autism. The virus was detected in one child from each group.​This study provides strong evidence against association of autism with persistent measles virus RNA in the gastrointestinal tract or with MMR vaccine exposure.
Lack of Association Between Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination and Autism in Children: A Case-Control Study

Budzyn D, et al., The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2010; 29(5): 397-400  
​Researchers in Poland compared vaccination history and autism diagnosis in 96 children with autism, ages 2 to 15, as well as 192 children in a control group. For children diagnosed before a diagnosis of autism, the autism risk was lower in children who received MMR vaccine than in nonvaccinated children. A similar result was achieved for the single-antigen measles vaccine.​The study provides evidence against the association of autism with either MMR or a single measles vaccine.​

Court Decisions

​​Case​Result
U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision in Omnibus Autism Proceeding​On Feb. 12, 2009, the “vaccine court” ruled in three test cases on the theory that MMR vaccine and the vaccine preservative thimerosal are linked to autism. The court found the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly contrary to this theory.

Studies Looking at Thimerosal

​​​Study​Summary​Author Conclusion
Association Between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism

Hviid, et al., Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003; 290(13):1763-6
​Study of 467,000 children born in Denmark between 1990 and 1996 compared children who were vaccinated with a thimerosal-containing vaccine to children who received a thimerosal-free formulation of the same vaccine. The risk of autism and other autism spectrum disorders did not differ significantly between children vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccine and children vaccinated with thimerosal-free vaccine.​The results do not support a causal relationship between childhood vaccination with thimerosal-containing vaccines and development of autistic-spectrum disorders.
Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association

Heron, et al., Pediatrics. 2004;114(3)3: 577-83 
​The researchers monitored the thimerosal exposure of more than 14,000 children born in the United Kingdom between 1991 and 1992. The age at which doses of thimerosal-containing vaccines were administered was recorded, and measures of mercury exposure by 3, 4 and 6 months of age were calculated and compared with a number of measures of childhood cognitive and behavioral development covering the period from 6 to 91 months of age.​No convincing evidence was found that early exposure to thimerosal had any deleterious effect on neurologic or psychological outcome. 
Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence From Danish Population-Based Data

Madsen, et al., Pediatrics. 2003; 112(3): 604-6
​Analyzed data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register recording all psychiatric admissions since 1971, and all outpatient contacts in psychiatric departments in Denmark since 1995. There was no trend toward an increase in the incidence of autism during that period when thimerosal was used in Denmark, up through 1990. From 1991 until 2000 the incidence increased and continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, including increases among children born after the discontinuation of thimerosal.​The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism. The data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism.
Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: Lack of consistent evidence for an association

Stehr-Green P, et al., American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2003; 25(2):101-6
​Study compared the prevalence/incidence of autism in California, Sweden and Denmark from the mid-80s to the late 90s with average exposures to thimerosal-containing vaccines. In all three countries, the incidence and prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders began to rise in the 1985-1989 period, and the rate of increase accelerated in the early 1990s.​The data is not consistent with the hypothesis that increased exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines is responsible for the apparent increase in the rates of autism in young children being observed worldwide.
Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Retrospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association

Andrews N, et al., Pediatrics. 2004; 114(3): 584-91 
​Study analyzed thimerosal exposure and possible development delays in 109,863 children born in the United Kingdom from 1988-97. Exposure was defined according to the number of DTP/DT doses received by 3 and 4 months of age and also the cumulative age-specific DTP/DT exposure by 6 months.​With the possible exception of tics, there was no evidence that thimerosal exposure via DTP/DT vaccines causes neurodevelopmental disorders.
Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism

Institute of Medicine, The National Academies Press: 2004
​The IOM's Committee on Immunization Safety Review was convened in the fall of 2000 to provide an independent review of increasingly prominent vaccine safety concerns. The 15 committee members with expertise in pediatrics, internal medicine, immunology, neurology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, risk perception, decision analysis, nursing, genetics, ethics and health communications analyzed over 200 relevant studies.​The committee rejected a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism as well as a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links With Immunizations

Fombonne, et al., Pediatrics. 2006; 118(1); e139-50 
​The committee rejected a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism as well as a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.​The data rule out an association between pervasive developmental disorder and either high levels of ethyl mercury exposure comparable with those experienced in the United States in the 1990s or 1- or 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations.
Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years

Thompson, et al., New England Journal of Medicine. 2007; 357: 1281-92   
​Study compared early exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines to 42 neuropsychological outcomes in 1,047 children between the ages of 7 and 10 years. Exposure to mercury from thimerosal was determined from computerized immunization records, medical records, personal immunization records and parent interviews.​The study does not support a causal association between early exposure to mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines and immune globulins and deficits in neuropsychological functioning at the age of 7 to 10 years.
Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants After Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines

Pichichero, et al., Pediatrics. 2008; 121(2): e208-14 
​Study assessed blood mercury levels of 216 healthy children prior to immunization with thimerosal-containing vaccines, and 12 hours to 30 days after. The blood mercury half-life was calculated to be 3.7 days and returned to prevaccination levels by day 30.​The blood half-life of intramuscular ethyl mercury from thimerosal in vaccines in infants is substantially shorter than that of oral methyl mercury in adults. Increased mercury levels were detected in stools after vaccination, suggesting that the gastrointestinal tract is involved in ethyl mercury elimination. Because of the differing pharmacokinetics of ethyl and methyl mercury, exposure guidelines based on oral methyl mercury in adults may not be accurate for risk assessments in children who receive thimerosal-containing vaccines.
Continuing increases in autism reported to California's developmental services system: mercury in retrograde

Schechter and Grether, Archives of General Psychiatry. 2008;  65(1):19-24
​Study analyzed autism client data from the California Department of Developmental Services between 1995 and 2007. Even though thimerosal was absent from scheduled childhood vaccines after 2002, cases of autism continued to climb quarter by quarter.​The California DDS data do not show any recent decrease in autism in California despite the exclusion of more than trace levels of thimerosal from nearly all childhood vaccines. The data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal during childhood is a primary cause of autism.
Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal from Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism

Price C, et al., Pediatrics. 2010; 126(4): 656-64
​Researchers reviewed managed care organization records and conducted interviews with the parents of 256 children who were verified to have ASD according to a standardized personal evaluation. Children with ASD were further categorized as having autistic disorder or ASD with regression. Another 752 children without autism, matched to the ASD children by birth year, gender and managed care organization, were also studied. For none of the autism outcomes was prenatal or early life receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines and immunoglobulins significantly greater among children with ASD than among children without ASD.​These results add to the evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines do not increase the risk of autism.   
Lack of Association Between Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination and Autism in Children: A Case-Control Study

Budzyn D, et al., The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2010; 29(5): 397-400  
​Researchers in Poland compared vaccination history and autism diagnosis in 96 children with autism, ages 2 to 15, as well as 192 children in a control group. For children vaccinated before a diagnosis of autism, the autism risk was lower in children who received MMR vaccine than in nonvaccinated children. A similar result was achieved for the single-antigen measles vaccine.
The study provides evidence against the association of autism with either MMR or a single measles vaccine. 


​Investigative Reporting 

​​​Article​Summary
How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed

Deer B, British Medical Journal. 2011; 342: 77-84
​​British journalist Brian Deer investigates Dr. Andrew Wakefield (the man who initially claimed a link between autism and the MMR vaccine), his practices during the study that was published on this alleged connection, and uncovers truths that lead to the revocation of Dr. Wakefield’s medical license and to the retraction of the article he published on the subject.​